No, it’s nothing to do with deep-fried potatoes, but the CHIPS project (“Cycle Highways for smarter People Transport and Spatial Planning”), which has been approved for funding by the European programme Interreg North-West-Europe, designed to foster transnational cooperation to make the North Western part of Europe a key economic player and an attractive place to work and live, with high levels of innovation, sustainability and cohesion.
Thousands of employees in several European regions will soon be able to use new generation cycle highways to commute to their work places. Over the next three years, 9 partners from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and here in the UK will develop together and demonstrate innovative solutions to make cycle highways more attractive, comfortable, safer and easier to use. They will also develop and conduct campaigns to remove barriers that keep commuters from using cycle highways.
Fast low-carbon bike lanes to work
Cycle highways are medium to long distance cycle routes that eliminate as many stops as possible and give users a fast, safe and smooth ride to their destination. They are the most sustainable and often also the quickest way to get to work. Especially in combination with the growing number of e-bikes, cycle highways offer a good alternative for commuter cars.
The CHIPS project will develop transnational standards and approaches and demonstrate solutions and tools to tap into the full potential of cycle highways. It will better connect cycle highways with public transport and cars and investigate the potential of ‘cycle oriented spatial planning’. The result will be a new, more attractive generation of cycle highways and related services, optimized synergies with public transport and cars, future developments that favour cyclists and above all more people using their bike to go to work and enabling other cities, regions and stakeholders to learn about project and investment results.
Partners in the CHIPS project include regions at the forefront of cycle highway development and follower regions with high ambitions. They include the provinces of Flemish Brabant (B) and Gelderland (NL), the German regions FrankfurtRheinMain, Ruhr and Rhein-Neckar, our own British cycling charity Sustrans, academic partner NHTV (NL), the cycle industry cluster Flanders’ Bike Valley and the European Cyclists’ Federation. They will focus their demonstrations and campaigns on cycle highway routes leading to Brussels, Belfast, Frankfurt, Arnhem and Tilburg.
I look forward to hearing what Sustrans plans within the CHIPS project.
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